Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Friday, September 5, 2014

THE CHICKEN BOOTH

 BIG SHOAL COUNTRY FAIR
Saturday 9/6    10 to 4

Rocky Creek loves to share what we DO here at the farm with our gardens, our goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs...well just about everything.  This Saturday, 9/6 we have a booth at the Nelson Atkins Farm at the Big Shoal Country Fair.  We will have information pertaining to raising the happiest, healthiest chickens you'll ever see. 

And, as a special bonus we are bringing BUFFY.  Buffy recently came to our farm from her city home and is getting to know her new sister-hens.  She is a beautiful Buff Orpington and she would love to meet you!   The Fair is VERY KID FRIENDLY so bring the family and spend the day.  But remember, we will only be there from 2 to 4.

Nelson Atkins Farm 6607 N. Antioch Rd  Gladstone, MO   816-453-3276.   We will be there from 2 to 4 but the Fair is open from 10 to 4.  You can read all about the Fair    HERE .


This is Buffy.  She will be with us at the fair.  Isn't she gorgeous?  And, she's sweet, too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Eye Opener

The sky is just getting light above my mountain...so I know the sun is there.  It's like the whole world is just waiting for me to step outside and welcome the day.

The goats are still sleeping.
Newborn.  Always precious.
I would accuse them of being lazy, but how can I do that in good conscience when they give me such wonderful sweet milk day after day, week after week, month after month.

I'm milking two does right now, Betty and Becky.  They give about a gallon a day each depending on the amount of feed I give them.

Straining milk.
The Saanen herd.

Betty in the foreground; Becky in the back.

Becky telling me a tall tale about finding a chicken nest of eggs in the barn.

Daisy...she loves to dress up.  She's taking this year off from child rearing and milking.






 




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

HOW-TO-TUESDAY Laundry Soap

 How To yellow
Well, I just can't believe my eyes....

I have been making and using laundry soap FOREVER...and do I have a How-To-Tuesday for it? NO!!

Shocking.

But, the interesting thing is, just today a friend (thanks Ashley) turned me on to a liquid/saucey soap that just looks so interesting I am going to have to try it.  Problem is, I recently made my POWER POWDER laundry soap, so still have quite a bit.

Secondly, I LOVE the jar I keep it in!  The NEW laundry liquid sauce will need to be in a screw top jar.

But, no fear, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it, so, since it IS Tuesday--which is How-to day I'm going to deviate from my normal pattern and give you the link to ANOTHER SITE with the recipe complete with photos.

(NOTE: 2/10/15  I was looking over my How To Tuesday columns and saw that BUDGET 101 attached this meme to my column that I posted last year.   I did not intend to steal or copy their recipe; I even posted their link so my readers could see the how-to of laundry sauce.   I don't think I should be chastised for sending people to their site but that's just me.  Anyway, I'm leaving it on here because I still think IT'S A GOOD RECIPE. So, sorry if you take offense Budget 101. )

She calls it Mom's Super Laundry Sauce.  Is that adorable?Super Laundry Sauce

So, here ya go.CLICK HERE FOR LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPE

My only caveat is I don't use Fels Naptha, so I would substitute.    I use my daughter-in-law, Shonna's wonderful plain ol lye soap made with my goats milk in my POWER POWDER laundry soap so that's what I will use in this new SAUCE soap.     Shonna's soap is creamy and lathers beautifully and you can find her soaps here: RED SHED SOAP COMPANY.

RED SHED is also having a soap making class Sept 13, 2014

SOAP class - September 13th from 2pm till 5pm. Lean the basics and some time saving tips to make high quality sops from scratch! This is an entry level novice class. You will learn the steps to make cold process soap and how to tweak recipes to make them your own. Lean how to use lye calculators to create custom soaps. All ingredients will be supplied. You will be taking home the soap you make, the supplies will be enough to make two 1 lb batches per person. Each person will need to bring 2 velveta boxes (top and bottom)or small plastic drawer organizer available at wal mart in the kitchen section. ( about the same size and shape of a velveta box.) Call for info and to sign up. Limited space available! Class may go over time estimate depending on how things go. Class cost per person is $55. If you are bringing a friend or family member the age limit is 14 years old due to safety issues using hot oils and chemicals. Call Shonna asap. 816-868-6763

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

HOW-TO-TUESDAY Strawberry Freezer Jam

  How To yellow


The first time I saw Florida strawberries growing in the field I was 18 years old.  My jaw dropped.  Not only had I never seen a commercial strawberry operation, I'd never seen berries this big. Or tasted berries this good.  They put the berries in my little Missouri garden to shame.






Be that as it may, Missouri berries are tasting mighty fine this spring!  And, what else is there to do with all the extra but make strawberry jam.  Who doesn't like strawberry jam?!

This is so simple and so yummy, you have absolutely no excuse NOT to make it.  I have a laundry list of allergies so I am always on the alert for recipes that won't put me into the ER.  My husband is my best source; he scours the web for dairy free and glutin free recipes, then puts his own special spin on it.

 I am allergic to pectin so no worries with this jam.  I was reading an article about pectin and it said unless you have a corn or apple allergy pectin won't bother you.  Well, I am allergic to BOTH corn AND apples so I need to take the cook cook cook road.  But, even with all that cooking, this jam is so easy breezy.  And, it's the way my grandma made jam, so I love it.  I was even tempted to pour the wax on top the way she did but didn't know how that would fare in the freezer.



STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
 4 cups strawberries   cleaned, cut and squished
4 cups sugar  (A professional jelly-maker friend of mine says NEVER use more sugar than berries)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


Mix together and heat until sugar dissolves.  Bring to roaring rolling boil.  Stir. Stir. Stir.  If you have a candy thermometer boil until it reaches 220 degrees or the soft ball stage.
Skim off the foam.
 Pour into sterilized jars, seal with flat and screw top.  Cool 2 hrs in frig then pop into the freezer.  We've already tried ours on rice cakes, dairy-free ice cream and the best gluten-free pancakes you'll ever taste.
This recipe made 7 pints of yummy jam.







Monday, July 7, 2014

Farm Eggs

Well, let's see.  What would you use to take a family vacation?  THIS...









OR THIS...





                        It's a no brainer, right?

For me, the choice of eggs is the same no brainer.  FARM eggs or grocery store eggs?   My sweet chickens sing their happy song as they browse all day long hunting and pecking for worms, bugs, grass, herbs, seeds and the occasional hapless  kitten snoring in the sun.



And, the nutrition in true free range eggs is OFF THE CHARTS.  AND, if the eggs are fertilized, as ours are, they are even better for you.



Some folks may take issue with the bulked-up body builders, but the TRUE-to-the-art (and it is an art) fitness gurus steer clear of drug short cuts and go for the real deal--natural foods.   And, this includes free range fertilized eggs.    Take a look at THIS article about the nutrition of an egg--and yes, the author LOVES Rocky Creek Eggs.

 Rock Body Muscle Building Fitness Motivation

Rock Body Fitness is a die hard proponent of the nutritional superiority of raw (farm) eggs (do not eat raw grocery store eggs.  Buy only from LOCAL TRUSTED FARMERS.)  Dr. Mercola is also an advocate for eating raw eggs; check out his article HERE.

 I eat a lot of eggs, many of which are raw; I have at least one in my smoothie every morning.  My annual physical stats are stunning: NORMAL cholesterol.  NORMAL blood pressure.  NO prescription drugs needed.

 If you want some quick smoothie ideas try my website (Rocky Creek Valley Farm)    HERE.

    Get Your Anabolic Fertilized Eggs Here
                                            WHATCHA WAITIN' FOR?!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

GROW YOUR OWN DINNER

What an unbelievable busy Spring we've  had...planning, planting, weeding, milking, mowing , etc! More about that later...

For now....I'm so excited about this online SUMMIT about growing your own FOOD. It starts Monday July 7.   Anytime I can go to a lecture in my farm boots and muddy jeans...count me in.  Me and my laptop can sit on the deck, watch the summit while Toby (Mini Aussie puppy) and Katie Scarlet (#1 cat) snore at my feet.    AND, one of the speakers is my fav... JOEL SALATIN.    AND, it's FREE.  What more could you ask?

Check it out: 
HERE JoelSalatin


We are busy growing stuff in our first-year high tunnel and in our field gardens and in our raised beds.  I'm growing veggies....mother nature is growing weeds!

So, back to the FOOD SUMMIT.   You don't have to "attend" every lecture...only those that interest you.  And, those that you have time for.  Register HERE

I have four lovable kittens ...just call me if you need a mouser extraordinaire.  They are 3rd generation here at the farm so we KNOW they have THE most lovable cat genes ever.

One more time: don't let this FOOD SUMMIT pass without you.  If you have EVER wanted to grow your food and get off the corporate chemical assembly line, start now.  Begin now.  There is SO much info being presented here; you have no excuse.  Its free.  It's convenient.

Sign up now: 

AND...did I mention you get FREE STUFF just for registering!!!   Whoop. Whoop.  So, even if you don't have time to watch the summit, you'll still get the free stuff.   REGISTER HERE

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Professor April McGonnegal


This is April taking a cat nap on the ironing board. Isn't she adorable?

She came straight from heaven. Well, FarmBoy Gary says she was kicked out. In my other life I used to manage apartment buildings. One day a resident heard tiny little "mews" coming from the wall. I had the maintenance guys chop a hole in the wall where we found an entire litter of kittens that had fallen three stories. I found homes for all of them; yes, April came home with me.

FarmBoy Gary and I took turns feeding her milk from a doll bottle every 3-4 hours. She was just too cute with her little paws on that bottle sucking away. That was in 2004.

The problem with "bottle babies" is they bond with humans and forget they are animals. April loved us but hated any other cat that came near her. During the last ten years we have had a plethora of cats. Number one: we love cats. Number two: we live on a farm and need serious rodent control. So, yes, April hated each and every one while simultaneously giving us lots of love.

Here she is working on her Doctorate in Cat Napping. She got very good at it; in fact she was the top of her class.






For her first five years April was an indoor city cat. For her next five years she was a bona-fide indoor/outdoor country cat. She surprised us by loving the outdoors; she especially loved, you guessed it, cat napping in the greenhouse which she cleverly entered via the window.


Cat napping on FarmBoy Gary's lap.






We do love our baskets...big and small.





April also loved sewing. She especially loved to UNthread my serger. Can you see her initial M on her forehead?!







A couple of weeks ago I found April curled up in a little box...she died in her sleep. Professor April McGonnegal went back to heaven. Rest well little sweetheart, you were loved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mini Auzzies


What can I say. We love 'em. Australian Shepherds are the lightening, the thunder, oh heck, the whole storm. They gallop through life with the exuberance of straight wind with tornadoes on the side. They are loving, smart and loyal.



This is Sophie, our first mini-Auzzie. A bundle of go-getter wrapped in affection.
She absolutely loved playing with soccer balls. My husband and I exercised her by throwing a ball back and forth between us. Just before we moved to the farm Sophie was run over and killed by a speeding car while we were visiting our son. Totally broke my heart.


As it so happened the same breeder we purchased Sophie from had a litter ready to go the very next week. So, we bought Sophie's sister, Cassie.

Cassiopeia Star "Cassie" at seven weeks old. She was a totally different personality than Sophie. Sophie was outgoing, a real people person. Cassie was very shy but still loving and adorable.


Cassie loves to ride on the tractor with FarmBoy Gary.



And, she loves cats. She has "nursed" two litters of kittens; loving and bathing them just like their mom AND she even made milk!







Ever since we moved to the farm we've wanted to raise Auzzies, but all our attempts with Cassie have ended in disappointment. So we decided to try to find another one to adopt. We searched far and wide and just couldn't find a match so we just quit looking. Then out of the blue a friend had one they were looking for a home for. An acquaintance of theirs had to move and couldn't keep it so it was up for adoption. A little tri-colored female, 14 months old. (Sophie and Cassie were both tri-colored).

When we went to have a look at her, we fell in love so Mollie moved to the farm.


Mollie fit right in. She and Cassie get into an occasional power struggle but all in all they get along.




Mollie has learned that cats have "sticker" feet and is learning not to chase chickens or goats.







This week we picked up our third puppy from our breeder--a little tri-colored male. He is not related to Cassie or Mollie so we have renewed hopes for a breeding program. Both Cassie and the new pup have merles in their lines so we can have both tri and merle puppies. I told FarmBoy Gary he could name the males....so he put out the word on his fb page for names. THANKS GUYS! Lots of good suggestions. And the winner is Tobias, or Toby for short. Now we have Cassie, Mollie and Toby.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Blood


We sold several chickens this year because it's time to cycle out older egg layers and cycle in young ones. They still lay eggs but just not enough for an egg-selling establishment! I had no idea chickens were in such demand! They all went to good homes and will spend their days clucking and singing for someone else.


Some of my Araucana's love to fly up and perch on my head. All I have to do is start walking toward the chicken coop and they will come running, flying, squawking to me and sit on my arms, head, shoulders, whatever is handy. The buyers wanted tame chickens. I think they got them.

Our new chicks will arrive this week...some Jersey Giants (Black pic)--I love that breed and we sold all of our original ones so am so excited to get more, plus they make GREAT MOMS--and some Cuckoo Marans (Black & white pic). They lay CHOCOLATE eggs. Well, not really chocolate, just chocolate colored...beautiful.




AND, my chicks are bringing some new buddies this year...DUCKS!! This is our first foray into the world of quack-quack and I'm so excited. I'll post pics when they arrive.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BE HEALTHY


If you know me at all you know I am a proponent of REAL FOOD. Good old fashioned food from the garden not a corporate field. Good old fashioned food from the kitchen not a factory. Good old fashioned bacteria that work hard to keep you well (probiotics).

If you begin to practice eating right you will see your health skyrocket. Here at Rocky Creek we garden like two fools. We experiment with organic gardening techniques. Then we take those foods and experiment in the kitchen. We have pots and jars of probiotics "perking" on the counter--kefir, kombucha, cultered veggies, sprouting grains. It's a veritable living laboratory.

This lifestyle is shared with our livestock--just today they got their dose of probiotics.

I follow several real food blogs and I do have my favs. One of these is WEED EM AND REAP. I love this blog. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

My beautiful kefir babies. I alternate them in real milk so they can eat and coconut milk which I can eat!
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